Our Opinion: A worthwhile cause for Governor's Council member


If the Governor's Council isn't going anywhere, its members should find ways to make it useful. A candidate from this region has a worthy plan to do that.

Mary Hurley of Springfield, a retired district court judge, is joining other Western Massachusetts judges in urging Governor Baker to fill 10 vacancies in the region, four of them in Berkshire County (Eagle, January 31). There are 15 district court vacancies statewide, so the 10 in the west are unfairly disproportionate.

The Governor's Council usually makes news only when it blunders, as when it rejected local attorney Michael J. McCarthy for a judicial post in Southern Berkshire District Court. The narrow rejection was without merit and the ensuing confusion left the court short a judge.

The Eagle has argued that the Council should be eliminated as it is a vestige of colonial government that has outlived whatever usefulness it may have had. That process is complex, however, and there is no apparent political will do so on Beacon Hill. Current Western Massachusetts (District 8) councilor Michael Albano, who is running for Hampden County sheriff, found a good purpose in his advocacy of Mr. McCarthy and regional court issues.

Ms. Hurley has an opportunity to use the Governor's Council campaign this election year to draw attention to the 30 percent judicial shortage in the region. This constitutes a useful role for the Council.


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